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Behind the Scenes at the Museum

Narrated by: Susan Jameson
Length: 12 hrs and 18 mins
Categories: Fiction, Contemporary
4.5 out of 5 stars (12 ratings)

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Publisher's Summary

Ruby Lennox was conceived grudgingly by Bunty and born while her father, George, was in the Dog and Hare in Doncaster, telling a woman in an emerald dress and a D cup that he wasn't married. Bunty had never wanted to marry George, but there she was, stuck in a flat above the pet shop in an ancient street beneath York Minster, with sensible and sardonic Patrica, aged five; greedy, cross-patch Gillian, who refused to be ignored; and Ruby...

Ruby tells the story of the family, from the day at the end of the nineteenth century when a travelling French photographer catches frail beautiful Alice and her children, like flowers in amber, to the startling, witty, and memorable events of Ruby's own life.

©1995 Kate Atkinson (P)2014 AudioGo Ltd. Published by Random House Audiobooks

What members say

Average Customer Ratings

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  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars

Excellent writing and performance

This book will make you laugh out loud in one breath and want to cry in the next. Many layers of this story unfold gradually.

Atkinson, as usual, writes excellently and delivers complex characters and tackles difficult issues. Susan Jameson brings these characters to life in a way which complements the book wonderfully.

Highly recommended, as always.

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Profile Image for Lisa Crowe
  • Lisa Crowe
  • 05-11-15

Great Family Story

A family saga, through the eyes of one child. The story spans the Great War, WWII, the 50's, the 60's and back again. Adultery, broken marriages, and all the rest. It's the story of one family from great Grand Mother to great grand child. The choices we make and their consequences, the mistakes we make and their unexpected outcomes. At times you'll laugh and marvel at the authors power of description and wonderful characters. A good listen very well narrated.

7 of 7 people found this review helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Rachel
  • 12-26-16

An absolute joy

Would you consider the audio edition of Behind the Scenes at the Museum to be better than the print version?

No

What other book might you compare Behind the Scenes at the Museum to, and why?

Human Croquet – it is another example of Kate Atkinson's skill in weaving stories together across generations

Which character – as performed by Susan Jameson – was your favourite?

Ruby Lennox

Did you have an emotional reaction to this book? Did it make you laugh or cry?

There is a passage in this book which never fails to move me to tears. Other parts of the book made me laugh out loud.

Any additional comments?

This book is an old favourite I have read many times, but was still an absolute delight to listen to. In my opinion, it is one of the best books ever written.

5 of 5 people found this review helpful

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  • P1955
  • 02-28-16

Wonderful novel.

Extraordinary book brilliantly read by Susan Jamieson. One which requires listening to again and again.

4 of 4 people found this review helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • D
  • 09-28-15

Excellent

A wonderful evocation of life in the fifties and sixties. Very well read the best I've heard.

4 of 4 people found this review helpful

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  • DartmoorDiva
  • 08-09-15

Superb

Everything about this novel is superb - from the characters, to the plot, to the narration. It is just an absolute joy and a wonderful way to lose yourself for hour after hour. It must be a couple of years since I last listened to this, and I have enjoyed it even more second time around. Kate Atkinson is a truly wonderful writer and Susan Jameson the perfect narrator.

4 of 4 people found this review helpful

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  • Shelley
  • 06-20-15

Entrancing and compulsive

Love all of her books and this one needed a second reading to get to the bottom of the intricately woven family story with a happy ending! Could not stop listening all night.

4 of 4 people found this review helpful

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  • S
  • 05-26-15

A lovely story

Having been born in York in the mid fifty's I felt a real connection with this book, I know the streets and the sights so well - it is poignant and evokes such memories for me. I could listen to it again and again. Beautifully narrated.

4 of 4 people found this review helpful

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    2 out of 5 stars
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  • Sharron
  • 06-24-16

found this depressing

loved the first few chapters but found the rest very depressing and dark. not for me.

3 of 3 people found this review helpful

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  • Beth S.
  • 11-17-16

A wonderful heady book with lovely finale

A rollicking ride with wonderful imagery and poignancy at the end. Images that will stay with me for a lifetime.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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  • Border Reader
  • 07-13-16

definitely behind the scenes

the source of themes developed so brilliantly in Life After Life & God in Ruins.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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  • sophiek
  • 07-26-19

What is the meaning of this book?

I love Kate Atkinson’s books that I have read previously, but I didn’t like this one so much. There is no character development. There are plenty of characters but that’s it. The family members don’t really connect with each other and the siblings don’t have any emotion for each other which I found very odd. How can a sister not feel anything for the loss of a sibling or a mother is beyond me. I don’t think I will listen to any other of her books.
Story: There didn’t seem to be a storyline, no plot. People live, people die, the end.

Narration: generally very enjoyable. When narrating young girls the voices didn't change from when they were adults which I found confusing.